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Comment ...the knowledge of how useless a CS degree is... (Score 1) 396

I've found most formal training fairly useless. This is also what I've heard recounted by most of my community and profession peers. I think this is the same whether it is CS, ElecEng (software) or my own personal choice, industrial design. This is from a sample of several hundred software developers, and web developers in the UK, USA and Australia. It has also been my experience as an developers being responsible for looking after new graduate employees. There is real value in learning how to learn. An in this sense post-grad courses can be of more practical use I'd say, though they still have potential to be as useless. I realise this is a broad brush stoke, and I would confess my own degree has given me useful skills in team working, usability and an understanding of what a waste of time formal education is, well 95% of it anyway.

MIT Offers Picture-Centric Programming To the Masses With Sikuli 154

coondoggie writes "Computer users with rudimentary skills will be able to program via screen shots rather than lines of code with a new graphical scripting language called Sikuli that was devised at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With a basic understanding of Python, people can write programs that incorporate screen shots of graphical user interface (GUI) elements to automate computer work. One example given by the authors of a paper about Sikuli is a script that notifies a person when his bus is rounding the corner so he can leave in time to catch it." Here's a video demo of the technology, and a paper explaining the concept (PDF).

Comment Common in the UK, good way to loose an ear (Score 5, Interesting) 350

They are pretty common in the UK, in all sort of industries.

Tesco supermarket uses them in some stores for moving cash to tills, and they are widely used in Hospitals.

There is one great, if slightly lengthy story that a friend tells, from when she was working in a hospital in Western Scotland a few years ago, I'll try to recount it best as I can.

A patient who has Hepatitis and Epilepsy is admitted to the hospital, he had a fit, and his Dog bit his ear off while he was fitting. So he came to hospital with his ear in his pocket. He was treated in A&E (UK ER) and sent up to the surgical department. His Ear though was wrapped up and put in a tube, however before the doctor could tap in the destination, the pod whizzed off. The hepatitis positive ear was not found for several days (is this just a bit error rate?), as it was quiet a big hospital with a lot of tubes. It could have been worse, as the ear was not intended to be sown back on, but just photographed and incinerated. The doctor who put the ear in the pod was known as Stupid Dave before the incident, but I'm sure this didn't help him shake of the moniker. The worst thing is, most people just ask what happened to the dog.

You don't get that with TCP/IP

Comment been past it in a speed boat, it looks sinister (Score 1) 240

I've been past it in a speed boat, it looks pretty sinister, v big place. They have floating docks that they use to load the nukes into the subs. You can get a wildlife tour from Dunoon, we saw more porpoises that submarines, great trip.

I didn't take up the popular CND pastime of super-glue-ing my hands to the road outside though.

Id recommend the book, Fortress Scotland, by Malcolm Spaven, it has lots of details on cold-war Scotland. It has a fir amount to info on Faslane, including why it was built there and how much it probably cost. The book is a bit dated now, being published in 1983, but its interesting how much has changed since the cold war ended.

Submission + - Google mobiles to make February debut? (

SpinelessJelly writes: "It appears that Google's Android, criticised by Microsoft as vaporware, has sprung to life. Prototype devices are circulating, software developers are experimenting with the SDK and PC-based Android emulator, and there are rumours of a show-stopping debut at February's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Numerous examples of the Android GUI are also starting to leak out."

Comment Should have put more RAM in it if... (Score 2, Interesting) 117

...he was going to run his website off it. Nice user experience, click, click, crash.

Bet the guy is using IIS too.

Definitely a spam-tastic link btw, much as I like Mini-ITX stuff, if you we're going to link to an interesting recent mini-itx article, this one at []LinuxDevices is miles better, 64-way Linux mini-ITX cluster... and it's silent(ish) too!

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You can write a small letter to Grandma in the filename. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS, University of Washington